The Criminalization of Skateboarding is a Push Too Far
March 16, 2018 - skateboarding
It’s 3:27 p.m. and you’ve strike a snooze symbol maybe once? Twice? Doesn’t matter. What matters now is that your midterm in Campbell Hall starts in reduction than 3 minutes. Realizing this, your heart drops to floor, and your physique jerks brazen as if it’s been struck by lightning. Instinctually, your left palm grabs your bag, and your right palm grabs a ol’ reliable house as we scurry out of San Miguel. Throwing your house to a floor, we pull off, slamming your feet so tough conflicting a Earth that your leg recoils into numbness. Picking adult speed, buildings seem to fly by in seconds, yet we start to comprehend usually one tiny problem, “I gotta go by a Arbor, don’t I…Shit”. You know a risks, yet with usually a integrate mins to go we confirm to press on, guiltily listening to your small cosmetic wheels dance conflicting a now-Arbor tiles.
Suddenly, a clarity of sheer fear shoots by your bulb as a eyes of male donned in dim blue accommodate your own. The blue man, who towers during a towering 6’9”, stands as if he were done of stone. His hand, solemnly lifting into a dull space before you. “Stop,” he says coldly. With reduction than a notation to go, we anticipate your unaccompanied options, “I can get a sheet and be late, presumably blank a midterm. Or we can resolutely pull on! Making a midterm, and removing no tickets! And he’s on foot! He couldn’t locate a cold skater if he even tried!” Choosing a latter option, we arrogantly avert your eyes from a blue man’s gaze, seriously slamming your feet to a floor.
But alas, this uncover of rebuttal is brief lived, for a blue male vigourously crashes into we like a tractor trailer that’s mislaid a brakes. In an instant, your face is sent to grub conflicting concrete, blazing like sulfuric acid, and a shaft tiles feel like coronet knuckles taken to your crisp bones. Bloodied and bruised, we cry a blood-curdling shriek. However, your cry seems to tumble on deaf ears, as a blue male angrily snarls, “STOP RESISTING!” Everyone, branch now to declare such rage, drops whatever they were doing; their voices blur into silence. Their gazes, now ripping into we like missiles, close onto your deformed body. “YOU’RE HURTING ME!” You wheeze back, yet you’re rigourously answered once some-more with, “STOP RESISTING!”
Does a punishment of being slammed to a building fit a crime of a low-level “moving violation?”
Like a male clutching his final dollar bill, a officer tightens his hold around a behind of your neck, and slams your rebel face again to a floor. Realizing that fighting behind is futile, we give up, succumbing to a titan on tip of you. Relaxing your physique conflicting a earth, we simulate on how foolishly this all happened: “I just…I usually wanted to pass Greek myth!” we sigh to yourself, as we contention to a overwhelming energy that is a UCPD.
Though this story is that of fiction, it doesn’t wandering unequivocally distant from reality. On Feb. 27, 2017, a tyro who identified herself as Erin Morgan dared to float her skateboard by a Arbor. At approximately 3:30 p.m., Morgan was vigourously thrown from her house to a building by UCPD officers. Though this movement was some-more or reduction caused by her unsuccessful try to run from UCPD’s reference of a relocating violation, it does desire a doubt as to either or not this pierce was implicitly just.
While a legality of UCPD’s use of force is yet question, a incomparable ethics of them are not. For one, does a punishment of being slammed to a building fit a crime of a low-level “moving violation?” Especially a relocating defilement that can usually be committed in arbitrarily designated ‘no-go’ zones. Does a crime that puts people during minimal risk review to that of one that indeed costs people their lives (i.e. speeding, using red lights, texting-while driving, drunk-driving, etc.)? The punishment for speeding in California can set we behind somewhere between $200-400, while a punishment for adventurous to float a skateboard on campus can simply be usually as costly, with a combined season of pain.
Granted, while these punishments seem to go a bit distant for committing a act of skating, it should be remarkable that coercion is rare. In my personal experience, it would seem that UCPD acts to make a skateboard laws usually occasionally, while a immeasurable infancy of a time skateboard laws are damaged both blatantly and excessively. To a infrequent observer, it competence seem that skateboarding isn’t any arrange of crime whatsoever, if not for a warning signs intoxicated around campus.
So, with such magnanimous interpretations of a rules, it competence be critical to take a demeanour during what a law says exactly, generally if we’re regularly reminded about violation them. Officially created in 21113(g) of a California Vehicle Code, skaters (and scooters) on campus are regulated to a distant right of sidewalks and taboo from anyplace with a ‘NO SKATEBOARDING’ sign, such as tunnels, parking lots and, many importantly, bikeways.
Now I’m not certain about you, yet I’ve nonetheless to declare a day in that zero of these manners are broken. Everyday skaters competition by Pardall Tunnel, they’re consistently flitting by a Arbor and now electric skateboards are apropos prevalent in a bike lanes by campus. This afterwards begs a question: Why do we even have such rules, as it would seem campus efforts to umpire skaters have all yet been in vain…Or have they?
On today’s campus, skateboarders, yet still common, seem to be reduction prevalent than they were about a year ago. Whereas before in Campbell Hall you’d see an army of longboards line a walls, now we competence usually see a few to a dozen. While on a conflicting side of things, bikes and a bike lanes seem to have gotten far, distant worse. Anecdotally, I’ve laid declare to an increasingly unfortunate series of bike accidents on campus.
If UCSB unequivocally does caring for a students or a money, a administration should during a unequivocally slightest cruise creation improvements in a viability of skateboarding or exploring other equal alternatives to biking.
While I’m not certain if a acceptance rate has anything to do with it, we am certain that a non-marginal series of people who traded their play for bikes exist. Though my usually justification for that is this that we was one of those people. As a now former-skater, we used to dutifully float my longboard to and from category any day. Though, admittedly, when Morgan’s story pennyless out, my initial greeting left me recoiling into a state of cognitive dissonance.
On one palm we like skateboarding, while on a other, we do not like tickets, nor do we like being physique slammed to a ground. Thus, we was left to re-evaluate my means of transportation. Thinking about all a risks we was holding — all due to a apparently iniquitous crime of skating safely from one side of campus to a other — led me to interpretation that a bike competence be better. So with a complicated heart, we done a preference of a lifetime by trade my hold fasten for pedals.
So that’s where we are today: a rather strongly pragmatic mode of travel contra an choice that is radically rapist in a eyes of a university. On one hand, we have bike lanes everywhere, vouchsafing students, residents and expertise get from fundamentally all of Goleta to anywhere on campus quickly. On a other, we have a neglected unaccompanied skateboard line that unequivocally usually takes we from HSSB to a outdoor corner of a Arbor, (but God dissuade we intrude too most on a Arbor).
So what now? Can skateboarders, police, pedestrians and a law all co-exist? Is there a pacific resolution to any of this? Well you’re in fitness since we have usually a solution: paint. For a cost of a can of splendid yellow paint, a second skateboard line can be drawn down by a Arbor, so formulating a designated line for skaters to safely pierce about yet stopping feet traffic. What’s more, several some-more yellow lines could be drawn horizontally by a skateboard lane, formulating walking crossings. The magnificence of this resolution is such that zero else has to be done; it’s simple, inexpensive and effective. No paving, no construction, nothing. Just paint. Even better, a officers that do unit a Arbor won’t even be out of a job, and it competence even emanate some-more jobs! All they’d have to do is unit in such a conform to safeguard that skaters are relocating about in a protected demeanour by a lanes and not fast slamming into pedestrians.
Even further, this resolution would see increases in a volume of people skating, as authorised skateboarding could spin an appealing choice to biking. Alternatives to bikes would afterwards diminution a volume of people utilizing a bike lane. In turn, shortening a series of bikers reduces a luck of bike accidents. Reductions in a series of bike accidents reduces a volume of income spent on medical and puncture services rendered to those harmed in such accidents. Less accidents and some-more income means alleviation in tyro well-being.
For such reasons, if UCSB unequivocally does caring for a students or a money, a administration should during a unequivocally slightest cruise creation improvements in a viability of skateboarding or exploring other equal alternatives to biking. Doing so would not usually advantage a common student, yet would drastically boost tyro complacency and reserve as a whole. Further, with saner manners and regulations, police-student interactions would find a boost as well, as those cited — per my devise — would usually be a forward ones and would leave everybody else to ride themselves safely in peace.
Kekai ‘O Kalani Akita wants Gauchos to have a space and leisure to movement to their classes.